20 August 2005

Talmadge's Thrifty Thirty-Three-1/3 Treasure Trawl

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. That is, if you like hot days where the heat index nudges the 110-degree mark.

On this day, Seraphim decided she wanted to catch up on some work so she could take some days off later this week to be with her mother, who is having surgery. So, we decided to make a day of it "in town" ... I dropped her off at her workplace about 1230 and would come get her at about 430, after which we'd go catch the late matinee of "Must Love Dogs" -- then supper at IHOP (sure wish the hades we'd get one up closer to Effingham County; there's plenty of room at the I-95/Ga. 21 exit, potential franchisees!!)

OKAY - this gives the Gleckster nearly four hours in which to find, entertain and then bury himself deep into trouble. And does he ever. First stop: LUNCH! Seraphim got herself lunch at Perkin's on the way in, but I had taste designs on Chick-Fil-A (see "wish the hades", above graf). Had a great lunch, just me, myself and this weekend's USA TODAY.

Second stop: I decide to make the round of area thrift stores -- we're in bad need of a new computer chair. Figure I might be able to find one on the cheap. I start with the Big Red Shield on Montgomery Cross Rd. Nada. But there WERE a buttload of old '80s-style tellys. I almost expected to see Max Headroom's archaic CGI mug burned into at least one screen. Nothing much of interest here, not even a pre-owned Christmas kettle, so I left.

Third stop: over to Sallie Mood Drive, home to two thrifties in close proximity. On the left is The Lame Half Smiling Face/Lower Case G. No chairs, although this one has the best selection of old coffee mugs. I browse for any with old radio or TV logos. Again, nada. Buh-bye, Willgood.

Fourth stop: cattycorner across the way to the Chatham Humane Socity, which runs a thrift store upstairs from its animal shelter. It's my first time visiting this one and I'm not disappointed. No desk chairs to be found here either ..... but what I found was the most impressive collective of used vinyl records I've seen in a thrift store in many moons.

Okay, as with most other Goodvation Army and Salwill stores, 90% of the vinyl has more scratches or scuffs than a 9-year-old kid after playing in the woods. There WERE, however, some real treasures lurking within. Alas, it will depend on how you, the reader, define the word "treasure."

Here is what Talmadge Q. Gleck added to his sizeable music library of dubious merit on this sultry Savannah Saturday:

JOHNNY MATHIS / The First 25 Years, The Silver Anniversary Album (Columbia, 1981)
Two-LP set, near mint condition. Has the expected early Mathis standards, like "Chances Are" and "It's Not For Me to Say", right up to his 1978 hit with Deniece Williams, "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late." In addition are horrid covers of "Three Times a Lady" and "As Time Goes By." Only his incredible iconism in MOR music excuses Mathis, however. In any event, if nothing else my Mom would certainly enjoy listening to this. It went home with Talmadge.

APOLLO 100 (FEATURING TOM PARKER) / Joy (Mega records, 1972)
"Joy", the title song, was a big instrumental hit in 1972 - a synthesized take on J.S. Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." Rounding out the rest of this 12-inch licorice pizza were ten other filler--er, ah, I mean, fine songs. I'm sure there'll be a long line of devoted readers (all two of you - including myself) waiting for me to burn copies of "Mendelssohn's 4th (Second Movement)", "Exercise in a-minor" and the read-into-this-what-you-will "Classical Wind." The liner notes end with "Thank you for everything, Mr. Bach."

Johann looks down, "For THIS I gave the world beautiful music?!?!" Why does he look like that Indian in the anti-litter PSA?

"A Gold Medal Presentation, Produced In 'Living Sound'"
Some of you may be old enough to remember the Longines subscription series of record albums, mostly classical music. And, yes, it's the same Longines name as in the Longines-Wittnauer Watch Company. This was a real find; an album containing the theme songs from classic old-time radio programs ... among them "Love In Bloom" (Jack Benny), "Seems Like Old Times" (Arthur Godfrey), "Love Nest" (Burns & Allen), and Bob Hope's signature theme song "Thanks For the Memory."

I got goosebumps just knowing that this record was A GOLD MEDAL PRESENTATION. I think after I get finished listening to it, I'll give it to Seraphim, so she can make some cake batter out of it.

Then there were two more I just had to pick up. The sicko side of me couldn't resist hauling these back to Effingham. They were 50 cents, so I didn't mind too much. Seraphim, though, had to hold her nose in the car after I picked her up. These aren't pretty, so I'd suggest popping a Tums before reading further:

"MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE" (Kimbo Educational records, 1989)
It's credited to Dottie Waddell and Phil Clanton. God bless their pointed and drug-free little heads. The liner notes on the back read: "SMOKING ... DRUGS ... ALCOHOL ... PEER PRESSURE ... PREJUDICE ... SAFETY Don't wait 'till it's too late! All children may at some time be faced with all of these issues and more. If you can reach youngsters when they are between the ages of 3 to 13, you might make a difference." It goes on: "All the ingredients to ensure success have been included -- upbeat music, lyrics children can relate to, young voices to sing along with, and a positive message."

What kind of positive messages are contained within the grooves of this rekkid? Check out these Billboard top-40 smashes: "Say NO to Drugs" (my, that's original) ... "Please, Don't Smoke" (no wonder the teen smoking rate spiked in the '90s) ... "Buckle Up" (Vince and Larry, take five - Phil and Dottie will take over) ... "Child Abuse Won't Do" (ummmmm, what do you call exposing kids to this tripe????) ... "Prejudice" (hinky-ass white folk such as ourselves who MAKE these records deserve all the prejudice we get) ... "Love Your Pet" (ironic, since this album rested within a Humane Society Animal Shelter) ... "Don't Talk To Strangers" (no, not the Rick Springfield hit) ... "Don't Drink and Drive" (or listen to this record while driving) ... "Litterbug Blues" (remind me to throw this record on the side of the road tomorrow) ... "Dare to Cope" (hard to do after listening to this).

This record was made in 1989. 16 years later, we have rampant drug problems, rural kids are rotting their teeth out with all the meth they're smoking, people still drink and drive, abuse kids and pets ...... in the name of all that's holy, this might be the reason!!!!

And finally.......
Evidently, a teacher dumped off a batch of old LPs at the Humane Shelter. Good for them. At least innocent kids cooped up in a classroom are no longer a captive audience for these sounds emanating from a Califone school A/V record player (with the metal latches and rugged fake leatherette chassis).

This record boasts that it's "Recorded slow for the very young - faster for the advanced." Recorded SLOW? That's right, boys and girls, you play it at 33 for the, um, "special" kids, and bump the switch over to 45 to make the jocks and popular kids dance as fast as they can.

But wait, there's more: "Records are pressed from a high-quality vinyl formula under very precise manufacturing standards to assure the truest possible tonal quality."

Damn. I was hoping for the WOPPA-WOPPA-WOPPA-WOPPA of an RCA "Dynaflex" disc.

That's what it's all about, people.

And there you have it. The newest musical treasures in the Talmadge Gleck Record Library. The music skips, but it never stops.

Ciao for niao!

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